Why these award-winning superstar Sheffield school kids deserved a break from class
These sixÂ superstar studentsÂ had a very valid reason for bunking off school to have funÂ while their classmates wereÂ stuck staring at the whiteboard.
The Star, in conjunction with Virgin Money on Fargate, invited the super six for an afternoon of bowling, air hockey, pool, and table football after being nominated by their teachers for outstanding application and attitude to school studies.
Ecclesfield Academy duo Ben Jones, aged 12 and Carla-Leigh Lawrenson 15, joined Forge Valley pair Hannah May, 16 and Clara Butler 12.
Parkwood Academy pupils Ayaan Qureshi, 12, and Kian Heath, 11 also enjoyed an afternoon off school.
But the Shirecliffe school was missing another of their star pupils. Poor Risha Mookenchery, 12, was struck down by illness and couldn't attend.
All six when asked why they were nominated were incredibly modest but their super proud teachers had no problems in highlighting their success.
Both Ayaan of Longley and Kian of Fir Vale have racked up over 650 reward points between them since the start of the academic year.
They were praised by Year 7 manager Daniel Cheatle adding the pair 'fully deserved' the accolades.
He said: "Since they've moved up from primary school they have got their heads down and applied themselves extremely well. It can sometimes take a while to settle into a new school but they've been brilliant in lessons and are always wanting to help."
Ecclesfield's very own karate kid Ben Jones of High Green was chosen for his volunteering efforts and his attitude around school.
The plucky 12 year-old, who wants to get into computer coding in the future, broke his leg last year and was so determined to take part in a sponsored walk, he trundled round in a wheelchair to help raise money.
And Carla-Leigh Lawrenson of Lane Top has gone through more than most. The brave teenager has missed two years of studies after being diagnosed with a brain tumour when at Beck Primary.
She's been having extra lessons to try and catch up and teachers have had full of praised and admiration for the 15-year-old. She hopes to become a firefighter in the future.
Both were said to show GRIT - a school scheme which rewards pupils who show great attitude, resilience along with being intrepid and tenacious.
Ecclesfield Academy assistant head Caroline Fancett said: "Both are a real credit to their parents and their school. Both are very, very modest but both sum up what we want to be about - an ethos what the school inspires to be like. We're super proud of them."
Forge Valley could have the next big writer and illustrator on their hands. Talented artist Clara, from Wadsley, was nominated for her hard work and dedication to her studies.
Enjoying the afternoon off school, she should've been sat in Geography with Mr Hobbs.
Joining her was 16-year-old Hannah from Middlewood. The prefect volunteers running sports clubs and is the perfect role model for younger students.
She hopes to go onto college after her GCSEs and study to become a midwife.
Forge Valley year manager Pam Smith said: "Their parents are ever so proud of them both, and they should be. They set a great example to the school.
"Both give 100 per cent in everything that they do and they deserve the recognition."
The Star editor Nancy Fielder told the winners: “We’re trying to change perceptions, because too often teenagers are seen as troublemakers or criticised for not being as good as generations gone by.
“There are amazing things going on at every single school in Sheffield and you are a big part of those amazing things going on.
"You here today were chosen by your teachers for the amazing work you do and you should be very proud of yourselves.
"We want to the next generation of young people make real difference to our city because you are the future.
“Our city needs people like you who are motivated and want to make a difference, so keep up the good work.”